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Grab super heavy boosters with the starting tower



SpaceX's next idea: Grab super heavy boosters with the launch tower

Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX is getting closer to realizing the design of its Starship and Super Heavy launch system. Once completed, it will be the world̵

7;s first reusable launch system and will facilitate travel to low Earth orbit (LEO), the Moon and Mars. Construction of the system’s boost (Super Heavy) began last summer and, according to a recent tweet from Musk, will be “caught” by its launch tower.


Tweet came (as they often do) in response to a question from one of Musk’s followers. In this case, the space designer, who goes through the Twitter handle Erc X (@ErcXspace), has created a video that illustrates what Super Heavy can look like when he returns to the landing site. The video is titled with the question: “Exact profile for a super heavy descent?”

Musk tweeted.

“We will try to catch the Super Heavy Booster with the shoulder of the starting tower, using the grilles to take the load … It saves mass and cost of the legs and allows for immediate repositioning of the booster to start the installation – ready to be placed under the hour. “

The next day, a three-dimensional designer (Youtube handle Mini3D) created an animation based on this description. It depicts the starting tower with a harness that grabs the Super Heavy amplifier after it falls into the hands. The harness then lowers the amplifier to a landing pad, eliminating the need for a landing leg and increasing the chances of a safe recovery.

As Musk pointed out, this catch system is also part of what he hopes will be equivalent to regular space travel. In the past, Musk has hinted that his long-term vision is to expand the Starcraft’s production to the point where they can build 100 a year for ten years (creating a fleet of 1,000). This fleet, he claims, can transport 100 megatons of cargo or 100,000 people to Mars every 26 months (when Earth and Mars are closest in orbit).

With this kind of capacity to transport supplies, equipment, robots and passengers, Musk could realize his dream of building a colony on Mars by the end of 2020. Whether this ambitious goal will be achieved in this decade (or ever, on this issue) remains to be seen. But in the meantime, Musk can handle a number of things he has mentioned in the past.

For starters, SpaceX can deploy batches of Starlink satellites much faster and create the legendary megaconstellation that will bring broadband to all parts of the world. He could also carry out Musk’s plan to provide intercontinental trade flights here at home, allowing passengers to fly halfway around the world in less than an hour.

The ability to launch Starships with such a quick turnaround will also make it easier for SpaceX to make regular trips to the moon. According to their contractual obligations with NASA – through the program for transportation of cargo and landing through Soft Touchdown (CATALYST) – SpaceX will send cargo and crews to the moon in support of the Artemis project.


The test flight of the SpaceX spacecraft was stopped at the last second


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Quote: SpaceX’s next idea: Catch the super-heavy boosters with the launch tower (2021, January 12), retrieved on January 14, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-01-spacex-idea-super-heavy-boosters. html

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